Blue and Gold Illustrated

Sept. 26, 2016

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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20 SEPT. 26, 2016 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED That's in addition to the unique names each of the St. Brown sons have. Equanimeous Tristan Imhotep J. St. Brown is named after a char- acter in a book that John Brown's friend wrote. Osiris Adrian Amen- Ra J. St. Brown and Amon-Ra Julian Heru J. St. Brown are both named after Egyptian gods. Equanimeous' fancy name doesn't come with the typical wide receiver flash. "He's very tough, but he doesn't cel- ebrate a lot," Brown said. "If kids are dancing in the end zone, people think they're tough or swag or whatever. "Equanimeous is a real tough, quiet guy but you won't see it be- cause of his demeanor." * * * Brown's sons did not become highly rated college prospects by accident. All three began their football careers as running backs and linebackers before gravitating to the receiver position. For Equanimeous, he simply became too tall to play any other position. Osiris then followed in Equanimeous' footsteps, and Amon-Ra told his father that switching to receiver was a move based on a potentially long NFL career. "My dad asked us what we wanted to do when we were younger, and we all said we wanted to play football," said Equanimeous, a business major at Notre Dame who also speaks Ger- man (from his mother) and French. "He knew he didn't know much about receivers, so he sought out coaches." One private coach in particular had a profound impact on Equanimeous. Jeff Johnson, a former Arkansas State receiver and the CEO of Los Angeles- based Elite Athletes, worked with all the St. Brown kids and harped on sev- eral items that elevated their games. Equanimeous said his biggest take- away from Johnson's lessons were how to run routes and get off the line, nuances he believes he would not know had he not gone to Johnson. "They were able to understand that position and what to do in certain situations in order to beat the de- fender," Brown said. "Jeff mentally and physically showed them tech- niques for a lot of given scenarios." Brown's weight-lifting background can come in handy. When it comes to nutrition, father still knows best. A perfect example of that was the team's road trip to Texas in which Equanime- ous did not properly sodium-load and hydrate before and after the plane ride, making him bloated and heavier against the Longhorns. Then against Nevada in week two, Brown could tell on TV that his son looked lighter after losing about 20 to 30 percent of his strength. "Mind you, I'm a dad and he doesn't always listen," said Brown, who was in Austin, Texas, and tries to attend one or two road games a year. * * * Equanimeous' fast start has raised the bar for the rest of the year. Now a vital piece of Notre Dame's offense, he'll continue to see plenty of crunch- time snaps moving forward. "The Texas game built some con- fidence in him," Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said of St. Brown. "… It's one of those things where you can't in our offense just rely on one guy. You have to spread the ball around, and that's how important it is to have balance within your of- fense. If you call on the next guy you have to get the ball to him. "But the Texas game — and then certainly when he was targeted, he's catching the football. It's like any- thing else when you throw the ball to somebody and he's making plays, you're probably going to choose to go back to that." Equanimeous has quickly become a favorite target of junior quarterback DeShone. "I had to put an emphasis on trust- ing those guys in big environments such as their first home game," Kizer said of the team's young receivers. "I had to toss it up, throw them into the fire and see what they could do. I have to treat them like the guys they are. They're elite athletes. I have to get the ball to Equanimeous and let him make plays. "We have chemistry all across the board. We spend a lot of time with everyone. When you have guys like Equanimeous, K.J. [Stepherson] — everyone is a stud. We're trying to put the ball in the guy's hands that is going to make the play." ✦ John Brown (far right) — a world-class weight lifter who was a two-time Mr. Universe and three-time Mr. World champion — and his wife, Miriam (second from right), have raised three highly touted wide receiver prospects — from far left to right, Osiris, Equanimeous and Amon-Ra — that have legitimate NFL aspirations. PHOTO COURTESY ST. BROWN FAMILY

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